Acting HUD Secretary Todman Testifies before House and Senate Subcommittees on President’s FY25 Budget Request

Acting HUD Secretary Adrianne Todman appeared before both the U.S. Senate’s and U.S. House of Representatives’ Committees on Appropriations’ Subcommittees on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) last week for hearings on President Biden’s fiscal year (FY) 2025 appropriations request for HUD programs. The president’s budget requests $72.6 billion in discretionary spending and $81.3 billion in mandatory spending to fund HUD’s vital affordable housing and homelessness programs in FY25.

“At HUD, we understand that our homes represent more than four walls and a roof,” said Secretary Todman in her opening statement. “A good home can serve as a platform for economic opportunity, good health, and strong families. How can a person hold down a job or take care of their health or children if they do not have a bed, shower, or stove?” Secretary Todman subsequently warned, “we are in the midst of a tough housing market and the need has never been greater.”

Members of both House and Senate subcommittees highlighted the importance of HUD’s programs and recognized that the budget request – drafted largely before the FY24 budget was finalized by Congress and constrained by the limitations of the “Fiscal Responsibility Act” – would not provide nearly enough money to fund all HUD’s needed programs.

During the April 30 Senate hearing, Subcommittee Chair Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) urged HUD to do more to support disaster survivors and renters in Maui following the deadly wildfires that impacted the island in August 2023. Chair Schatz highlighted the impact of the disaster response on Maui’s rental market, noting that Hawaii already struggled with a small and expensive rental market before the fires. In the wake of the fires, FEMA provided landlords willing to shelter wildfire survivors with rent subsidies significantly above market value. This in turn inflated the cost of rental housing across the island and incentivized landlords not to renew their existing tenants’ leases, resulting in massive displacement not only of wildfire survivors but also existing renters.

Members voiced their support for the NLIHC-endorsed “Reforming Disaster Recovery Act,” a bipartisan bill that would permanently authorize HUD’s Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program, which provides flexible grants to help presidentially declared disaster areas rebuild affordable housing and other permanent infrastructure and makes critical reforms to ensure a more efficient and equitable disaster recovery.

Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) argued for increased funding for the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF), the nation’s only federal affordable housing program dedicated to the construction, preservation, and operation of deeply affordable housing for people with the lowest incomes. While the HTF receives funding outside of the regular appropriations process, Senator Reed argued that sufficient funding for the HTF could make the program a “one stop shop” for developers interested in building deeply affordable units and mixed-income housing that includes deeply affordable units. 

Acting Secretary Todman returned to Capitol Hill on May 1 for a hearing with the House Appropriations THUD Subcommittee. Newly appointed Subcommittee Chair Steve Womack (R-AR) noted in his opening remarks the importance of HUD’s programs while also arguing that the constraints under which the committee is operating require that every dollar provided to HUD “be well-spent and purposeful.”

Ranking Member Mike Quigley (D-IL) emphasized the worsening affordable housing and homelessness crises communities across the country are facing, including the steep increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness reported in HUD’s 2023 Point-in-Time (PIT) count. “Local leaders know what works to end homelessness,” said the Ranking Member, highlighting the importance of maintaining funding to vital community programs and the widespread impact of housing instability “felt far beyond the housing system.”

Appropriations Committee Chair Tom Cole (R-OK), formerly the THUD subcommittee chair, was visiting his district after devastating tornadoes tore through the Midwest last weekend and was unable to join the hearing. Committee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) was in attendance and made an impassioned plea for increased affordable housing and homelessness assistance funding, noting that housing should be “a central focus of this Congress.”

Members once again voiced their support for the NLIHC-endorsed “Reforming Disaster Recovery Act,” emphasizing the need for improved disaster response time and additional funding for long-term recovery efforts.

View recordings of the Senate hearing the House hearing.